no April Fools -- I'm in Kansas

no April Fools — I’m in Kansas

 

Marathon Maniac pal Stacy got a group of us Maniacs excited – signed up months & months ago for this weekend’s trail marathon in Kanopolis State Park.  Rural Kansas, no hotels for 45 miles – no worries, Stacy thought of that too.  Rented a cabin nearby…those go fast, she’s a thinker & a planner.  Super lucky, I run with a good crowd 🙂

Stacy, husband Dan, Mike & Ed (both from Austin) travelled early Friday, snapping shots with the World’s Largest Czech Egg (who knew, right?), board cutouts of Buffalo Bill & Annie Oakley…among other wacky roadside attractions.  I on the other hand, road tripped 7 hours alone.  Sometimes work gets in the way of weekend plans.  No arguments — I’m a huge fan of paying my mortgage — & ya’ll know I’m a car karaoke champ.  LOL>

Grabbed a bag of roadside Fritos & gassed up in Burlington (last Colorado stop).  Would be driving long stretches of Kansas highway with few opportunities for fuel.

 

*pre-race text from Stacy* 

It will be cold in the morning, hot at midpoint, and breezy at the finish.

You can have a drop bag that you’ll see at 13 and again at 17. My husband will transport your bags for us.

There’s an unmanned aid station (jugs of water) at 7 and 22.

There are 5 water crossings, the last 2 are waist deep. Bring a Baggie for your phone. After that is the .25 mile sand pit much sandier than Bataan for sure.

We’re running around the lake. I’ll go over the map with you all fri night and sat morning during breakfast. Pretty hard to get lost but good bearings always help.

Get ready for “holy cow”!!!! Every 4 miles is something new!

We’re at Kanopolis State Park in the Buffalo Bill Cabin (#5).  Anyone bringing a harmonica?

 

38°36′12″ N  97°58′33″ W

Yep, those are the GPS coordinates – state road highways thru rural ‘no cell service’ counties.  High beam driving – only me & the bugs on my windshield.  No people land.  11pm arrival; cabin door left unlocked – zzz’s ‘til 530am.

 

Sub-freezing temps, cool morning.  Planted near a wood-burning fireplace ‘til our 630 start.

Narrow single trail thru rutted prairie.  Blah, blah, blah – waist deep WATER CROSSING – those were the words rolling in my head.

Still early, feeling STRONG, rolled fast down a dry canyon gulch – runner jam, brackish water & mud ahead.  Moved in front & leaped hard…in deep thick mud.  How deep?  Came out without a shoe.  Maybe settle down & think before I leap, huh?  Another runner helped me pull my shoe loose.  Left hand smelled like sewer rest of day, not sure that was water 🙁

Up, down rolling canyon hills & long grassland treks.

IT band left knee: sharp pain, mile 11.  Cruelest injury ever – could run as long & hard as I wanted UPHILL, but downgraded from run/trot/walk on all downhill stretches.   Luckily I made peace with UPHILL last year.

Quick refuel at mile 13.  Port-a-potty on a flat-bed trailer at mile 14 (kinda ghetto, but thanks), then looped my way up & down back to mile 18 – right foot still dry…log crossings every stream bed.  What was Stacy talking about?

More Fritos (don’t be a hater, a guy’s got eat), climbed a cattle gate (another marathon first) then…WATER.

First baptism is a memory you soon don’t forget.

Cold river water.  Guy in front of me was taking off his shoes but I knew better.  This crossing only hit my thighs…they’re only gonna get deeper (Stacy’s never steered me wrong).  Wore a pair of old Newtons today; they’d not make the Colorado return home.

Last 7 miles: canyon arroyos, deep rutted grassland and WATER.  9 crossings in total, 4 waist deep.  As the day heated up, I warmed up to the water.  By the last 2 [water crossings], no hesitation – I was a pro.

FAVE all-time trail run.  Downed burgers & a hot dog – getting spoiled at these grassroots trail events.  I’ll be back.

LOVE LOVED my finishers ‘medal’, a hand-welded Rockin’ K horseshoe.  FAAANNNTASTIC day!

 

K R Haga

Rockin K – Marathon – Ellsworth, KS Apr 2, 2016

Overall: 40   6:13:43

 

 

Up before dawn Sunday, started the long road trip home.

Afternoon plans?  Dinner & a movie.  Fancy fish take-out & a soon-to-be movie classic, Avalanche Sharks, w/ Ash & Tom.  LOL>

After a snowboarder inadvertently starts a major avalanche, the moving snowfield uncovers and wakes a prehistoric “snow shark” which had been trapped beneath. The shark develops an appetite for human flesh and the staff at the Twin Pines Ski Resort begins getting reports of missing people and strange finned creatures moving under the snow.

 

 

Kansas Car Karaoke, 7 hours (in reverse)

 

March 2016 Maniac Newsletter

March 2016 Maniac Newsletter

 

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